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Industrial Designer Focus: Konstantin Grcic

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Industrial designer Konstantin Grcic has done it all, from spoons to umbrellas to lights, but he’s best known for his data-driven chairs.  We dropped in on his Munich studio to sit awhile in his seats.

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  Industrial designer Konstantin Grcic in his Munich studio. Photo by Oliver Mark.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Industrial designer Konstantin Grcic in his Munich studio. Photo by Oliver Mark.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Konstantin Grcic’s work 
is approaching its 20th year in production. His first releases, in 1991, were the Tom Tom and Tam Tam side tables for SCP Ltd. They were re-released in 2009 with sliding mechanisms on their support columns. The result? Adjustable height built in.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Konstantin Grcic’s work 
is approaching its 20th year in production. His first releases, in 1991, were the Tom Tom and Tam Tam side tables for SCP Ltd. They were re-released in 2009 with sliding mechanisms on their support columns. The result? Adjustable height built in.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Landen public seating for Vitra Edition, 2007.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Landen public seating for Vitra Edition, 2007.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Grcic’s father favored antiques while his mother decorated the house with brightly colored 1960s art and objects. As a result, said Grcic, he was used to contrast. In his own work, he is always honing in on the essential. “It’s totally unconscious,” he says, of what we look for and respond to in design. He constantly observes as people interact with their environments. “It’s about how we sit in chairs. But it’s also who is the one sitting in that chair, and how and when.”  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Grcic’s father favored antiques while his mother decorated the house with brightly colored 1960s art and objects. As a result, said Grcic, he was used to contrast. In his own work, he is always honing in on the essential. “It’s totally unconscious,” he says, of what we look for and respond to in design. He constantly observes as people interact with their environments. “It’s about how we sit in chairs. But it’s also who is the one sitting in that chair, and how and when.”

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  The “terrace”, in his unassuming former factory space not far from the main train station in Munich, is a place where he and his cohorts can step outside for a breath of fresh air. A handful of classics as well as his own chairs—–like the Myto (foreground) and the Chair One (on the table at right)—–upstage the suddenly bashful designer.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    The “terrace”, in his unassuming former factory space not far from the main train station in Munich, is a place where he and his cohorts can step outside for a breath of fresh air. A handful of classics as well as his own chairs—–like the Myto (foreground) and the Chair One (on the table at right)—–upstage the suddenly bashful designer.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  An advanced mock-up for the stackable outdoor chair he's designing for Piazza San Marco in Venice sits on a workstation.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    An advanced mock-up for the stackable outdoor chair he's designing for Piazza San Marco in Venice sits on a workstation.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Lunar was a light project for Flos in 2008.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Lunar was a light project for Flos in 2008.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  MIura barstool, designed for Plank in 2005.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    MIura barstool, designed for Plank in 2005.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Grcic collects various objects—–including an old-fashioned trash can his sister salvaged for him—–in his studio, which he catalogs for inspiration.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Grcic collects various objects—–including an old-fashioned trash can his sister salvaged for him—–in his studio, which he catalogs for inspiration.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Grcic’s Mayday lamp for Flos was inspired by the lights used by automobile mechanics. The ES shelf for Moormann is delightfully canted. The Chaos family of seating for ClassiCon encourages sitters to perch, squirm, and fidget.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Grcic’s Mayday lamp for Flos was inspired by the lights used by automobile mechanics. The ES shelf for Moormann is delightfully canted. The Chaos family of seating for ClassiCon encourages sitters to perch, squirm, and fidget.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Umbrella for Muji, 2006.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Umbrella for Muji, 2006.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Odin couch for ClassiCon, 2005.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Odin couch for ClassiCon, 2005.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Relations stacking glasses for Iittala, 1999.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Relations stacking glasses for Iittala, 1999.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Osorom seating for Moroso, 2002.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Osorom seating for Moroso, 2002.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  The Myto Chair, 2008, for Plank.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    The Myto Chair, 2008, for Plank.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  A poster on one of the doors of his studio  reads “No to war!”.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    A poster on one of the doors of his studio reads “No to war!”.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Grcic is a very hands-on designer, whose work includes tableware.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Grcic is a very hands-on designer, whose work includes tableware.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  2 Hands laundry basket for Authentics, 1996.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    2 Hands laundry basket for Authentics, 1996.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  ES Shelf for Moormann, 1999.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    ES Shelf for Moormann, 1999.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Passami Il Sale utensils for Serafino Zani, 2007.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Passami Il Sale utensils for Serafino Zani, 2007.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  The 360 degree Chair and Stool for Magis, 2009.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    The 360 degree Chair and Stool for Magis, 2009.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  The Diana side table for ClassiCon, 2002.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    The Diana side table for ClassiCon, 2002.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Chaos family of seating for ClassiCon, 2001.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Chaos family of seating for ClassiCon, 2001.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Accento cutlery for Serafino Zani, 2009.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Accento cutlery for Serafino Zani, 2009.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Chair One for Magis, 2004.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Chair One for Magis, 2004.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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  Crash lounge chair for Established&Sons, 2010.  Photo by: Oliver Mark
    Crash lounge chair for Established&Sons, 2010.

    Photo by: Oliver Mark

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